Thumbs up for Northumberland opencast coal mine

Northumberland County Council has approved proposals for a surface coal mine at Highthorn. Banks Mining plans to extract coal, sandstone and fireclay from a site near the village of Widdrington. […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Northumberland County Council has approved proposals for a surface coal mine at Highthorn.

Banks Mining plans to extract coal, sandstone and fireclay from a site near the village of Widdrington. The process is estimated to last more than five years with total operations lasting seven years.

The company said the site will be restored once work is completed. It claims the project will create at least 100 full time jobs.

Green groups have responded with outrage to the decision.

Council Leader Grant Davey said: “I fully accept this has been a long and difficult process, with strong feelings on both sides but I do believe this decision is in the best interests of Northumberland and its residents.

“It is interesting to note a number of the objections have come from as far afield as Madagascar and Bangladesh, while more than 1,000 local people indicated they wished to support the application.”

The application has now been sent to the Secretary of State for consideration.